A new season of giving kicked off Wednesday, November 8th as Indian River Impact 100 celebrated its Tenth Anniversary with a Brunch at the Oak Harbor Clubhouse attended by a sellout audience of 200+ members and prospective members.
Suzanne Carter, President of Indian River Impact 100, opened the program by proudly reporting that over the last 10 years, the local chapter has made 31 transformative grants of $100,000 each to local not for profits, as well as 21 smaller grants, and noted that all donations go directly to the grants. Visual and Performing Arts students from the Indian River Charter High School, performed a cheerleading routine and a scene from “Grease” in praise of Impact and its effect on the community. Michael Naffziger, the IRCHS Theatre Director, credited an Impact grant for providing the Theatre with necessary equipment.
The keynote speaker, Wendy Steele, the National Founder of Impact 100, related the founding of Impact 100 in the Summer of 2002, describing an “aha” moment when she realized a simple and effective way for women to join together to make a real impact on their community, leading to “One woman, one check, one vote.” Approximately 50% of the women who participate in Impact nationwide have themselves never before written a check for charity, but are emboldened by the opportunity to make a difference as a group. Pooled philanthropy enables transformative action. Ms. Steele reminded the audience that if you are stressed, it is hard to be generous, and conversely, if you are generous, it is hard to be stressed. Currently, there are about 50 Impact organizations worldwide, including 42 in the United States, with another 16 groups in development. By the end of this year, Impact will have collectively made over $56 Million in grants, all funded by individual $1,000 checks.
Joel Bray, the 2008 Founder of Shining Light garden whose motto is “Feeding the hungry, one garden at a time” praised Impact for its 2014 Grant which allowed the Garden to buy necessary equipment, including a refrigerated truck, to expand their free food operation. He noted the ripple effect of Impact’s grants. The Garden provides fresh produce for “Our Father’s Table” which provides 26,000 meals a year, to clients who are mostly seniors or children. Leftover produce makes its way to Childcare Resources, another Impact grant recipient where it is shared with their families.
In 2016-17, 439 women were part of the initiative which awarded grants to Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of IRC, Childcare Resources of Indian River, Hibiscus Children’s Center and ORCA, achieving a combined milestone of over $3.3 million in funds distributed over the past nine years. All women from Indian River County are welcome. The deadline for joining is February 28th. More information can be found at http://www.impact100ir.com.